Euphorbia Milii Care Guide – Crown of Thorns Plant Care


The Euphorbia Milii indoor plant kingdom is vast and diverse, offering a myriad of options for enthusiasts and beginners alike. One such gem is the Crown of Thorns, scientifically known as Euphorbia milii. Hailing from Madagascar, this plant has taken root in many households due to its minimalistic care requirements and stunning appearance. This review will deep dive into the essential aspects of keeping your Crown of Thorns flourishing, offering key insights, tips, and more.

Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) Indoor Plant Details

Key SpecificationDetails
Common NamesCrown of Thorns, Christ Plant, Christ Thorn
Botanical NameEuphorbia milii
Plant TypeSucculent; the Crown of Thorns is a woody, spiny, and succulent shrub. Its succulent nature allows it to store water in its stems and leaves, making it quite drought-tolerant.
Mature SizeTypically grows between 3 to 6 feet indoors. However, in its native habitat and optimal conditions, it can grow much taller.
Sun ExposurePrefers full sun to partial shade. While it can tolerate some shade, a few hours of direct sunlight daily is ideal for the plant.
Soil TypeRequires well-draining soil. A cactus or succulent mix is often recommended. If preparing your own mix, consider adding sand or perlite to regular potting soil.
Soil pHSlightly acidic to neutral (6.0 to 7.5).
Bloom TimeThe Crown of Thorns can bloom year-round when given optimal conditions. However, it’s most prolific in late winter to spring.
Flower ColorFlowers can range from red, pink, white, and sometimes yellow, depending on the cultivar.
Hardiness Zones9 to 11. While it’s primarily grown as a houseplant in cooler zones, it can be grown outdoors in warmer climates. Ensure it’s protected from frost.
Native AreaOriginally from Madagascar, but it has since spread to various parts of the world due to its ornamental appeal and easy care.

Euphorbia milii

Plant Care

Caring for the Crown of Thorns is a delightful experience. This resilient plant is not only aesthetically pleasing but also forgiving. The fundamental aspects of its care revolve around light, soil, water, temperature, and humidity. In the upcoming sections, we will dissect each factor to ensure your Euphorbia milii thrives.


The Crown of Thorns is partial to bright light. While it can tolerate some shade, direct sunlight for a few hours daily is optimal. A sunny window or a place where it can bask in the morning sun will keep it happiest. Too little light can lead to elongated stems and fewer flowers.


A well-draining soil mix is crucial. Consider a cactus or succulent mix for your Crown of Thorns. This ensures that the roots don’t stay too wet, which could cause rot. If you’re mixing your own, add sand or perlite to regular potting soil to enhance its drainage capabilities.


While the Crown of Thorns has drought-resistant attributes, it appreciates consistent watering. Water the plant thoroughly and allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before the next watering. It’s vital to avoid over-watering, as this could lead to root rot.

Temperature and Humidity

The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 60°F to 75°F. It can tolerate short stints of cooler weather but prefers warmth. As for humidity, Euphorbia milii is pretty adaptable. It doesn’t need high humidity but will appreciate occasional misting in very dry conditions.


Feed your plant with a diluted, balanced liquid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks during the growing season. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this could lead to excessive growth at the expense of flowering.


Pruning the Crown of Thorns helps maintain its shape and encourages flowering. Always wear gloves when pruning, as the sap can be irritating. Trim elongated stems or any part that appears leggy. This encourages denser growth and more blooms.


While the Crown of Thorns can tolerate cooler temperatures, it’s best to bring it indoors during colder months if you’re keeping it outside. This will protect it from frost and ensure it continues to thrive.

Propagating Plant

Propagation is best done through stem cuttings. Take a 3-inch cutting, allow it to dry for a couple of days, and then plant it in a cactus mix. Remember to wear gloves, as the milky sap can be an irritant.

Quickly Declining

Despite its resilient nature, the Crown of Thorns can face challenges. If your plant is declining rapidly, check for overwatering, pest infestations, or excessive light. Adjusting these factors can often restore its vitality.

Types of Plant Euphorbia Milii 

The Euphorbia genus is vast, with Euphorbia milii, or Crown of Thorns, being just one of its many species. There are various cultivars of this particular species, differing mainly in flower colors and sizes. Some common ones include:

      • Euphorbia milii ‘Short and Sweet’: Compact with deep red blooms.

      • Euphorbia milii ‘Lipstick’: This variety boasts vibrant red blossoms.

      • Euphorbia milii ‘Golden Sun’: As the name suggests, this one illuminates spaces with golden-yellow flowers.

    However, all these varieties share the core care principles elaborated in the previous sections.

    Euphorbia Milii

    Common Pests & Plant Diseases with Solutions

    Pests: Like many indoor plants, the Crown of Thorns can occasionally become a target for pests.

        • Spider Mites: Look for fine webbing on the plant. Combat these by spraying your plant with water to dislodge the mites. For severe infestations, insecticidal soap can be effective.

        • Mealybugs: These appear as tiny cottony masses. Wipe them off with a cloth dipped in alcohol or use neem oil.


          • Root Rot: Often due to over-watering. Ensure the plant is in well-draining soil and cut back on watering.

          • Powdery Mildew: Appears as a white powdery substance on the leaves. Increase air circulation and consider a fungicidal treatment if severe.

        How to Get Spider Plant to Bloom

        It seems there may be some confusion here. The Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is different from the Crown of Thorns. The Spider Plant is known for its green and white-striped leaves and small white flowers. For Spider Plants, to encourage blooming:

            • Provide adequate light: Bright indirect sunlight is ideal.

            • Avoid over-fertilizing: Too much fertilizer can lead to lush green growth at the expense of flowers.

            • Ensure proper watering: Allow the top of the soil to dry between waterings.

           Common Problems with Plant

          When it comes to the Crown of Thorns, certain issues might crop up:

              • Leaf Drop: Often due to over-watering or cold drafts. Ensure the plant is not sitting in water and that it’s kept away from cold windows in the winter.

              • Lack of Blooms: Usually an indicator of inadequate light. Move your plant to a brighter location.

              • Leggy Growth: This means the plant is stretching for light. Reposition it to a sunnier spot.

            To conclude, the Crown of Thorns is both versatile and enchanting. With a clear understanding of its needs, any challenges that arise can be effortlessly addressed, ensuring the plant remains a radiant addition to your indoor garden.

            Final Thoughts: Living with the Crown of Thorns

            The Crown of Thorns, with its rich history and stunning beauty, is more than just a plant—it’s a statement. As we’ve seen, with just a bit of attention to its needs, this plant can thrive and bring joy to any space.

            Frequently Asked Questions

            Decode the magic of gardens with our guide to Landscaping Styles Frequently Asked Questions.

            • Yes, the sap can be an irritant. It’s advisable to keep the plant away from children and pets and to wear gloves when handling.
            • Generally, every 2-3 years or when the plant outgrows its pot.
            • This could be due to insufficient light or over-fertilizing. Ensure it receives adequate sunlight and adjust your feeding schedule.

            Yes, in warmer climates, it can thrive outdoors. However, protect it from extreme cold and frost.

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